Monday, August 24, 2020

Starfish (Starfish #1) by Lisa Becker | A Book Review

Starfish (Starfish #1) by Lisa Becker | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

Lisa Becker is another author who sends me messages on Instagram every time she has a new book. I readily agree to read and review her books because they're always fun and delightful to read. Her characters are very real which most readers could relate with. 

Starfish is a rock star romance as described on the cover. I am not sure why but I really love reading rock star romances. I guess, it's a hidden fantasy of mine to end up with a rock star or some celebrity. I do have a few in mind. It's a situation akin to shooting for the moon but then what would you know? There are a lot of ordinary people who are married to rock stars and popular icons. Who knows, right? I am still single. What are the chances that I would actually end up with my favorite Korean drama actor? Dream on. Anyone can dream, right? Dreaming is free anyway.  Calling Lee Jae Yoon, Lee Dong Wook, Jung Il Woo.

Talking about rock stars, I've always had a crush on Alex Band of The Calling, Jason Wade of Lifehouse and Danny O'Donoghue of the Script. Aside from the fact that I love their songs and they're very talented, these guys are good for the eyes too. I've just started getting into K-pop too. Yes, I know, a bit late but I'm catching up. I really love CNBlue. I love alternative rock and their songs sound like that though they identify themselves as more of a pop rock band. I am so impressed by Jung Yong Hwa's ability to entertain and engage the audience in their concerts. He comes up with these ideas like playing the drums and have the other members do other things too. I would love to watch them play live if they ever come here to the Philippines. Jung Yong Hwa are you hearing this? I am actually listening to CNBlue while writing this review.

This is a story of Brad and Marin. Brad, obviously is the rock star. Marin is the ambitious intern who dreams of working for a big tech firm. Unfortunately, she ends up getting a four-month internship as the PR of a rock band who is hailed to be the next big thing - the Kings Quarters. I think Marin's job of being a PR girl for the Kings Quarters actually sounds incredible. Going on tour with the band is like a dream come true, right? I wouldn't refuse if I were presented with a rare opportunity as that. Aside from it being a new experience, it's also interesting to know if all the myths and popular beliefs about how the rich and famous live and breath would be true. I would take it as an in-depth investigation or an immersion. But not Marin, she wasn't very thrilled with the assignment. 

What I love most about the story is how Marin proved that she can be really good at her job. Yes, it wasn't what she really wanted but she ended up enjoying it even though it was a challenge at first, especially with the band members. In the end, she proved to be so valuable and essential to the existence of the band. Not to mention, she got close to the band members and yes, fell in love too. 

Brad is a very interesting lead male character. I find it refreshing to meet someone who would rather do coding on a computer than be in the limelight being a rock star. He'd rather have his inner nerd shine than bask in the fame and limelight. It's very humble and very endearing. Very few people would give up being popular than enjoy peace and quiet. It's very rare to find someone like that especially in this age of social media. Every one wants to be popular or want to go viral. Every one wants to take a shot at being an instant celebrity at any expense. 

This story tells of behind-the-scenes activities of what rock bands are famous for - yes, sex, drugs and alcohol. Fortunately, not all of the members enjoy all that. Some have grown tired of it. Some have outgrown it. Some just wouldn't grow up hence, the after parties are still a must. Of course, you can't exclude the people who want to take a bite of the popularity of the band and use it to their benefit. There's jealousy and intrigue and all other dramas too. 

I give this book 4/5 beanboozled jelly beans. This was a very fun read. It's like reading the real lives of rock stars with all the things that come with fame and money. It's not all that glorious as we are all made to believe. There could be conflicts and most of the time, not all bands are actually allowed to write the songs they want to write. Most of them have to conform to some marketing idea or branding image they have to portray. Yes, it's all about the money. This made me think about how western bands are way different from Korean pop or music idols. Korean pop idol aspirants have to train for years before they debut. A K-pop band or group has to live together in a dorm to develop team work among members. The size of the dorm would indicate how the group is doing. If they just started, they would be sharing a very modest or even a cramped space. They also have go through a lot and I guess, that keeps them grounded. Just like BTS, they were the underdogs. They were often bullied in reality shows they guest in when they first started. But look at them now. They endured all that and remained focused on their goal. They were the first ever Korean or Asian band to make it to the Billboards. It's probably one of the reasons why the ARMY would die for them because they've given their all (meaning they worked hard with no hanky-panky or no shortcuts) just to get to where they are now, yet remained humble. They don't feel so entitled as what some celebrities are. Sometimes they even forget they're celebrities. And yes, I like BTS. I root for them. Aside from being talented, they're also just ordinary people who worked hard to achieve their dreams yet never forgetting where they came from. 

When you feel like you can't go on, like there's nothing there for you...

Just remember: Laundry. Laundry is always there.
- Lisa Becker, Starfish -  

Thank you again, Lisa Becker for the review copy. I will be posting reviews soon for the other books you gave me. 

Other books by Lisa Becker: 

Dear Future Self (review coming soon)
Links (review coming soon)